Infected airway epithelial cells up-regulate the expression of chemokines, chiefly IL-8, and antimicrobial molecules including ß-defensins (BD). Acinetobacter baumannii is a cause of hospital-acquired pneumonia. We examined whether A. baumannii induced the expressions of IL-8 and BD2 by airway epithelial cells and the receptors implicated in bacterial detection. A549 and human primary airway cells released IL-8 upon infection. A. baumannii-infected cells also increased the expression of BD2 which killed A. baummannii strains. IL-8 induction was via NF-B and mitogen-activated kinases p38 and p44/42-dependent pathways. A. baumannii engaged Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and TLR4 pathways and A549 cells could use soluble CD14 as TLRs co-receptor. A. baumannii lipopolysaccharide stimulated IL-8 release by A549 cells and sCD14 facilitated the recognition of the lipopolysaccharide. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed that A. baumannii lipid A structure matches those with endotoxic potential. These results demonstrate that airway epithelial cells produce mediators important for A. baumannii clearance.